Kapoho Coconut Rolls

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We live near the Kapoho region of Hawaii, the whole village of Kapoho was wiped out by a lava flow in 1959-60 (gee I was just born). There are fields of lava all around the area, and of course the town is gone, we even have lava tube holes in our orchard. So I thought I would name these coconut rolls after the area. This recipe will make enough dough for two large rolls. This is actually a large amount, you may want to cut the amounts in half.

Kapoho Coconut Rolls:

In the evening, mix together in your mixe r or a bowl :

  • 2 cups/18oz/510g  of starter at 166%
  • 3/4 cup/6 oz/ 170g water
  • .75 cup/6 oz/ evaporated milk
  • 3 TBS/1.5/42g  melted, cooled butter or oil
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 3TBS/2.2 oz/62g  Honey
  • 1 large egg/1.8 oz/51g
  • 7.5 cups/33 oz/935g All purpose flour
  • 1 TBS /.6oz/17g salt (if you wish, add salt after autolyse)

Mix ingredients together just until incorporated, about 3 minutes. Then rest for 20 minutes(autolyse) Now add the salt if you haven’t already. Bulk ferment four hours and then put the dough into a covered large container into the refrigerator overnight. Make sure the container is large enough to hold the expanding dough.

In the morning take out the dough and let it warm up for an hour or so. While letting the dough warm up, make the filling.

Place in a heavy bottomed saucepan:

  • 1 cup/8 oz/ 226g  butter
  • 1/2 cup/4 oz/ 113g  evaporated milk
  • 2 cups/13.2 oz/ sugar
  • 4.5 cups/12 oz/340g shredded sweetened coconut

Mix all ingredients together and heat in the pan. Bring to a boil and then turn off the heat. Add :

  • 2 teaspoons coconut extract

Stir well and let mixture cool.

When the dough has warmed up:

Divide the dough in half and taking one piece of dough at a time, roll out the dough into a square 18″x18 ” You can see how large this will be!

Spread 1/2 of the coconut mixture out on top of the dough and then roll it up. Place it in a large well greased sheet pan and cut it like this:


Then allow the dough to proof until at least 1.5 times it’s original size, about 1.5 – 2 hours. Bake at 375F  for 25-30 minutes.

I tried cutting one of the rolls like this:

Big mistake! It turned out like this:


Not to worry though, after I took off the burnt sugar it was fine, (although I have to admit it resembled a Hawaiian centipede) :

Here is the first roll:

In retrospect, these rolls would have worked out better if they had been cut and placed closer together on a pan that just fit them, the same as regular cinnamon rolls. Then when the rolls were done baking, you could even invert the pan and have sticky rolls. The melting interior, would have soaked into the rolls and not spread out and burned. Another way to shape these rolls is like this:

Hawaiian Rolls then the gooey interior has nowhere to go but to soak into the rolls.

If you wanted to use a icing glaze on top add:

  • 1.5 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • milk , cream , or half and half

Put the powdered sugar into a bowl, add the coconut extract, and then add the milk or cream until the desired consistancy. Drizzle on top of the rolls. Serve, watch them disappear! Happy baking everyone!


Teresa L Greenway - Sourdough bread baker, author, teacher, entrepreneur. Join my baking classes at: https://tinyurl.com/nbe3ejd

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